|Ian Acheson, Author of ANGELGUARD
|From the moment I read an interview with Ian Acheson here at Elaine Stock’s blog, Everyone’s Story,
I knew I had to read his supernatural book ANGELGUARD. I’m a big THIS PRESENT DARKNESS fan, and this series sounded right up my alley. I was also impressed with how Ian stuck with his dream for ten years to publication. (Click to Tweet!)
Then I had a stroke of luck and won the book! I have to put the cover here, because I can’t stop looking at it! Electrifying! And so is the story–a real supernatural thriller.
Here’s a bit more about Ian:
Ian reads a lot, and a lot, and a lot more. He’s been telling and writing stories for most of his life since early childhood.
When Ian’s not writing, he’s a professional strategy consultant, having been in the Corporate world for the past 25 years. He brings some of this experience into his stories. He’s lived in Sydney, Australia, all of his life. Ian shares life with his wife, Fiona, and they try to keep up with two almost-twenty something young men who give them much joy and you know what else if you’re a parent.
You can also find Ian here:
Now, on to the questions! And Ian’s giving away a copy of his book today, so be sure to comment for a chance to win!
HG: Did you set out to write a book about spiritual warfare, or did that angle arise organically as you wrote? Also, how did you deal with such a heavy topic? Did you research angels/demons in the Bible? Pray profusely? Did you sense spiritual resistance as you wrote/edited ANGELGUARD?
IA: Yes, Heather, I did set out to write a story about spiritual warfare with angels and demons playing dominant roles. I had my lead angel & demons names before the human characters, in fact.
As you’re aware, ANGELGUARD had a long gestation process, which in fact has mirrored my own spiritual journey. I’ve written a bit about this on my blog (http://ianacheson.com/).
As brevity is important here, the story evolved over that gestation period as I came to better understand the Word and the role angels and demons play. Yes, I’ve read many books on spiritual warfare, angels and demons. Prayed profusely, absolutely and struggled with spiritual resistance regularly.
But God was good and kept leading me. It’s important as Christians that we let God guide us in our story. (Click to Tweet!) He’s a great storyteller and so wants to help us tell the story He has birthed in us.
HG: Were you involved in critique groups of any kind, or did you have critique partners as you edited ANGELGUARD?
IA: No I didn’t use critique partners. After writing the first 2 drafts, I employed an editor. Clare taught me how to write and how to self-edit.
Around 50 people via publishers’ reader groups & the publishers themselves would have read the manuscript in its various iterations over the years. I took their positive responses, perhaps naively, to believe the core story was good. But getting the craft right has always and continues to be my struggle.
I like your idea of the 2-beta readers. I must start looking for them. Any suggestions? HG: (Um, there’s this girl who lives in West Virginia and likes speculative fiction…)
HG: ANGELGUARD depicts international terrorism. Have you been to all the cities you describe, or were you able to research them to get those details right?
IA: Even though I’ve been to most of the cities mentioned in ANGELGUARD, I did most of the work on the internet. It is amazing how much detail you can get from Google Maps. Jan, my Lion Hudson editor was very useful in assisting me with some of the London and English countryside scenes. In fact, it was her influence that led me to make a big change to one destination.
I did specifically visit Fontainebleau when visiting Paris on holiday having written the first drafts of the novel.
HG: You have a female angel, Arlia, in this novel—and she’s a fearsome warrior. Did you have a biblical reason for using a female angel, or was this a case of imaginary license?
IA: I like this question. Angels and demons are created beings. Certainly I don’t believe there is any reference to a female-looking angel in the Bible, but I believe it was Thomas Aquinas who proposed angels could assume whatever form was needed to do God’s work. So why not a female?
HG: Finally, I’m sure Lion Fiction (your publisher) has done much to publicize ANGELGUARD. However, what’s been the most effective promotional strategy you’ve personally used to get the word out?
IA: This is an area I have so much to learn. It’s fascinating as a first-time fiction author who is unknown in the US and UK, how to do this effectively to enhance readership. I hope to gain some clear insights so I can mentor future first-time authors. I’d love to know of other authors who’ve done it well, so if you or your readers can nominate some, I’d be most appreciative.
It’s probably too early to tell at this stage but getting visibility with key bloggers is a key strategy. For my next novel I’ll definitely use a “launch team”. I’m on a few authors launch teams (both fiction and non-fiction) and have been able to see how this has helped drive interest and uptake at launch.
I’d encourage any new authors to join 1-2 launch teams as you get an inside look at some of the key machinations the author and their publisher work through. It’s also a great way to meet other readers and give back to another author.
Sorry for prattling on for too long but I’m also a firm believer in actively supporting the industry. So buying books, placing reviews on Amazon, GR, etc, commenting on blogs and writing encouraging notes to authors are really important. (Click to Tweet!) It’s the ‘boomerang’ effect – giving and serving changes the world and us. One never knows what the boomerang will bring back to you.
Thanks so much for coming today, Ian, all the way from Australia! Great having you here–love your heart for authors who are new to all this!
Within a period of weeks, three horrific bomb blasts devastate areas of London, Los Angeles and Sydney. No explanation is offered, no victory claimed for these acts of terror. Yet behind the scenes a Machiavellian European businessman is planning to bring the G8 nations to their knees for his own larcenous purposes, aided by the dark forces to whom he has sold his soul. Jack Haines, an Australian academic, is grieving the loss of wife and children in the Sydney blast. Against his will he finds himself thrown into a war that transcends the physical world, a conflict in which angelic guards have a special mission for him. This is a gripping novel of the unseen forces that throng our world.
ANGELGUARD on Amazon
ANGELGUARD book trailer: YouTube
****And now for the fun part–please leave a comment or question for Ian for a chance to win a copy of ANGELGUARD! I’ll draw and announce the winner on Friday!****